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tv   First Look  MSNBC  March 7, 2014 2:00am-2:31am PST

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good friday morning. right now on "first look," crimea to put decision to join russia to the voters as europe denou denounces the move. the military of chain of command remains in charge of sexual assault cases. hello, el nino. the worldwide weather effect is predicted. we'll tell what you it means where you live. plus -- new details in the blade runner murder trial. we've got the numbers on what the average american is getting back from the irs. and white house was rockin' big time last night with the women of soul. hello and thanks for joining us. ochs, so we want to begin with fast-moving developments in ukraine. u.s. fighter jets now in the region after crimea's parliament
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votes to join russia, a move that did not sit well with the u.s. and secretary of state john kerry is growing visibly irritated at the lack of progress in diplomatic talks. it all means this crisis is giving no signs of letting up. nbc's jim maceda is in live in moscow. what do you know about this hour-long phone call between presidents obama and putin? >> reporter: hi there, betty. well, we know that president obama initiated the call to president putin. as you suggest in your lead, it was at the end of an extremely busy day. first of all, that crimean parliament vote effectively voting to secede from ukraine and join russia was followed later in the day by president obama's e.o., that executive order to at least potentially lay the groundwork to slap sanctions on all those people and entities who threaten ukraine's sovereignty.
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so the stage was set for that phone call. as you say, it lasted about an hour. it was the second call like that in six days. but what came out of it was an understanding or a lack of understanding, really. in fact, the kremlin today said that putin, on a number of occasions, tried to explain his position, and he felt like obama just was not hearing him. the two leaders have a huge gulf between them. obama calling the pro-russian crimean government illegitimate. putin claiming that the key of government is unconstitutional. and this morning the kremlin saying that the two sides were extremely far apart. although putin apparently did stress that u.s./russian relations are just too important to be damaged by differences over any one albeit major issue. betty, back to you. >> jim, thank you. and on capitol hill, the senate blocks a change to military assault cases. lawmakers came up five votes
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short of stripping commanders of their authority to prosecute rape cases. pentagon leaders who oppose the effort said it would undermine commanders. it was sponsored by senator kirsten gillibrand. the new york democrat spearheaded an emotional campaign to curb military sexual assaults. >> we know that the deck is stacked against victims of sexual assaults in the military today, and today, sadly, we saw the same in the halls of congress. >> there were about 5,400 reports of sexual assault in the military in the 2013 fiscal year. that is a 60% increase compared with the same time in 2012. and two top military officials are facing sexual assault allegations of their own. opening statements are expected today in the court-martial of brigadier general jeffrey sinclair. he pleaded guilty thursday to having improper relationships with two female army officers and committing adultery with a third. the married father of two
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pleaded not guilty to five other charges stemming from a female captain's allegations that he forced her to perform a sex act. and the army's top prosecutor for sexual assault cases is actually suspended amid groping allegations. the army is investigating claims from a woman who says lieutenant colonel jay morse tried to grope and kiss her at a 2011 conference. that conference's topic, sexual assaults. let's get you an update on a story that a lot of you have been talking about since yesterday, and that's the court ruling in favor of the practice known as upskirting. well, this morning the massachusetts legislature has voted to make it illegal. it comes a day after the state supreme court cited in favor of a man who had been secretly taking pictures up the skirts of women. justices said it was okay because the women were not fully nude. well, this new bill makes it illegal to take, quote, intimate photos of women or children in public. in south africa, emotional
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and graphic testimony at the murder trial of blade runner oscar pistorius. here's a live look inside the courtroom at this hour. this morning, pistorius's neighbor is resuming his testimony. the doctor says he saw pistorius weeping over his model girlfriend reeva steenkamp as she lay dying or was already dead. he was one of the first responders on the scene. he testified pistorius was desperately trying to help steenkamp breathe. pistorius shot her in the bathroom of his home on valentine's day last year. he says he mistook her for an intruder. but prosecutors say the paralympian intentionally killed steenkamp. this freakish weather pattern called el nino, yep, it is back. and it could be returning to u.s. shores very quickly. nbc chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson has both the good and the bad. >> reporter: this is why the words el nino strike fear. houses collapsing as the ground gives way in california.
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weakened by the intense storms of 1997 and '98. the last major el nino. southern california's rainfall totals more than doubled. farmers now praying for rain in some parts of the west took a big hit 16 years ago. the losses from that el nino cost u.s. agriculture as much as $1.7 billion according to a study by texas a&m. so just what is el nino? >> el nino is basically a warming of the sea surface temperatures in the central pacific. that warming of those above-normal temperatures anywhere from a half degree to a degree which doesn't sound like a lot can actually change weather patterns not just in the united states but all across the world. >> reporter: while el nino could send california ricocheting from drought to downpours, in the northern half of the country, it could mean this miserably frigid, snowy winter will not be repeated next year. >> el nino may help mitigate the brutally cold weather that we've had in the northeast, the midwest and the northern plains.
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however, you're not going to be able to say definitely that this is going to get knocked out. why? because even though there's a forecast of an el nino, it doesn't mean it's going to happen. >> reporter: it could also mean fewer hurricanes in the atlantic because water temperatures would cool, prodding the storms of energy. good news for the oil and gas industry in the gulf of mexico. >> nbc's anne thompson reporting there. and we should mention there is only a 50/50 chance of an el nino. >> it could or couldn't happen. >> you say el nino could be our friend. >> some areas are going to be great. it can be -- save a lot of money on heating bills in the northeast and midwest and usually less snow, too. after this winter, we're all, like, sinus up. >> bring it on. >> let's talk about more winter weather. i'm done talking about it but obviously mother nature and old man winter is having their own way. power outages, about 100,000 people without power from freezing rain in the greensboro, winston-salem, durham areas and spreading into central virginia.
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30 in greensboro for the freezing rain to continue. some of this is going to sneak up towards the washington, d.c., area with freezing rain and sleet towards the morning commute. it will more or less be south of d.c. i'm not convinced it's going to make it to d.c. itself. as we go throughout the day today, stormy mess in the mid-atlantic. the rest of the country actually looks pretty nice. not too many issues. a mild day by your winter standards from minneapolis to chicago. maybe a few puddles for the first time in foufr. d.c. looking nice at 56. all that snow should be about melted by the time we end saturday. if not, by sunday at 51. the only bad news i have is that the middle of next week, this is not a forecast. just one of our computer models. the white and the pink shows you where snow could be. the possibility of another snowstorm moving across the country and possibly through the northeast. that will be wednesday, thursday. >> we have a little bit of time. let's enjoy the weekend. let's get to the good stuff. speaking of good stuff, sports and richard lui. >> college hoops here, betty.
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we're buttoning. the regular season. number 24 iowa and number 22 michigan state. michigan state down in the first half by two. but in the second, they get the comeback. senior keith appling, double-digit scoring and a beauty of an assist for an alley-oop. michigan state, 86-76. there she goes. number six villanova ending a 32-year drought, winning the big east championship outright, may friend. none of villanova's players even alive the last time this has happened. they beat unranked xavier, 77-70. south carolina's men's basketball coach will be spended. frank martin on camera here. cursing at a player. >> black it out. >> that's right, black it out. you don't want to see that. he will therefore be suspended for saturday's regular-season finale. ooh hoo! talk about passion. santa barbara fan charging onto the court. where's the security here? he was yelling at hawaii's coach. he gets escorted out and could
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be expelled if he is a student. this is the third time, by the way, in a month a fan had violent contact with a college basketball player or coach. hawaii loses. he's gone. hawaii losing, 63-61. hey, miami's lebron james struggling again so he ditches his face mask. that helps a little against san antonio. he takes this turnover for two. not enough. san antonio wins, 111-87. james saying hey, you know those jerseys you were wearing? those sleeves? they were too constricting. >> oh, that was it. >> the tie was too tight. my boots. miami still number two in the eastern conference. indiana clinching a playoff berth. san antonio, you might like that, maybe not since you're from dallas, in second in the west. oklahoma city leads there. >> yeah, i'm still rooting for the mavericks. >> you're a dallas girl. the psychedelic lsd drug is back in the news but not for the reasons you're probably thinking. plus, we'll tell you how big
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time to get down to business with cnbc's seema mody. good morning. >> good morning. the first story we're watching is safeway striking a deal to be bought for more than $9 million. it owns several supermarkets including albertson's, the nation's fifth largest chain. safeway is second largest. and americans' household wealth jumping $10 million last year according to new data from the fed. that's due to the booming stock market and rising home values. household wealth measures real estate, stocks, bank accounts and other assets. minus mortgages, credit cards and other debt. now, the irs says the average tax refund this year is more than $3,000. surveys show most americans plan to use that cash to pay down debt. but younger people are more likely to spend their refund on shopping and going out. betty? >> but, of course they are. thank you. also in the news, lsd is
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making a comeback in a new drug trial, and it's approved by the fda for the first time in 40 years. the psychedelic drug is being used in a controlled study on patients with anxiety from life-threatening illnesses. and according to the trial's reports, patients are seeing a sizeable and sustained decrease in anxiety after taking the mind-altering drug. chrysler has ordered 93 first-generation dodge vipers to be destroyed. painful to watch. two of the nonstreet-legal prototypes that were donated to schools had been involved in accidents recently, and that has caused the parent company, fiat, millions of dollars. one community college in washington say they have the fourth viper ever made and cannot believe they have to destroy it. the white house was full of soul music last night. patti labelle, melissa etheridge and aretha franklin, the women of soul, performed before the first couple among other guests. it's all for a pbs special. so donald trump stumped and
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mitch mcconnell schooled on how to hold a rifle. a juicy friday edition of "scrambled politics" is next. and a life of purpose and meaning was infused into a corporate culture. there was a commitment to creating new jobs out of recycled metals, right here in america. and a bank that helped carolyn rafaelian's business grow from a rhode island storefront into a global sensation. that's the beauty of connecting a vision to an enterprise. that's bank of america.
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just one eraser's versatile enough to clean all kinds of different surfaces and three times more grime per swipe. so instead of fussing with rags and buckets, you can get back to the great outdoors, which can be pretty great. that's why when it comes to clean, there's only one mr. [ bird screeches ] like a ramen noodle- every-night budget. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. see how much you could save with allstate. are you in good hands? all right. time now for "scrambled politics." and if you're a vegetarian, you might want to stay away from cpac because it is all red meat. senator mitch mcconnell is under the gun for his bid for re-election literally. and thursday he packed his own heat. it was actually the nra's lifetime achievement award being given to senator tom coburn.
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but the stunt did not go unnoticed by mcconnell's democratic challenger. allison tweeted, quote, someone tell mitch mcconnell that's not the way to hold a gun. kentucky women do it better. donald trump, well, he did not use a teleprompter to deliver his cpac speech, but he probably should have. when discussing president obama's disapproval rating, he killed a living former president. >> we're getting into jimmy carter territory. and i never thought i'd see anything like that again. i lived through that time. and it was not a good time. and we're pretty close. i think maybe by next month, we will have surpassed the late great jimmy carter. >> uh, someone tell the donald he's still alive. yeah. okay. so newly obtained staff e-mails portray virginia's former first lady as erratic and overwhelmed. notes say maureen mcdonnell struggled with her position and simple tasks like leaving the
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governor's mansion would stress her out. she along with her husband, former governor bob mcdonnell, were indicted in january on 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy. and vermont independent senator bernie sanders tells "the nation" magazine that he prepared for a 2016 presidential run. one of his colleagues is getting some bad news. a new public policy poll reveals the country's least popular senator, can you guess who it is? it's john mccain. the arizona republican is unpopular with his own party as well as democrats and independents. just 30% of his constituents approve of the job he's doing. and he tails virtually every challenger when he's up for re-election in 2016. and coming up this sunday on "meet the press," the francis effect. it's been a year since pope francis was elected to lead the catholic church. and david gregory sits down with new york archbishop timothy dolan. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." and that is your morning dish of "scrambled politics."
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so if it's friday, that means it is preliminary for politico's kevin serelli. good morning. >> happy friday, betty. how are you? >> i'm doing great. a lot to talk about especially with these new developments. crimea actually wants to join russia. could this break up the country, throw a wrench in u.s. efforts to support ukraine? >> i mean, do you believe this? president barack obama saying this is 2014. wait a minute. we're way beyond the time where a region can just overgo their government of the ukraine to say that they want to is secede, bu this definitely sends a signal and heightens tensions between the united states says and russia which is actually backing crimea. >> so as this plot thickens, many may wonder why is the u.s. involved in ukraine after all? so help us understand why the u.s. is actually obligated to protect ukraine under a nuclear agreement? >> that's a great question, but
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the two big takeaways that i think i want to answer that with, the first and foremost is that this is really about russia trying to flex its muscle in this post-cold war environment. now, if russia is able to do this and to support crimea, really this is just going to expand their foothold in the region as they look to expand. you know, but also, i think that folks have to remember, there is a natural gas pipeline running through ukraine. if russia has that influence, a lot of europe, a lot of our allies really rely on the ukraine to get their natural gas from the region. so a lot of old cold war tensions being stoked again. but a really important region. and the u.s. really backing ukraine bipartisan support with the house just recently passing a $1 billion aid package for ukraine's government. >> all right. so realistically, though, if crimea wants to secede, what can
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the u.s. really do? >> we can do a lot, betty, particularly are sanctions and our ability to fund the ukraine government. this is not like it was back in the cold war. the u.s. and the russian -- you know, we're in a global economy. and so i think the western government, the western economy, excuse me, really does play a significant role here, and we can do a lot with economic policy. >> all right. kevin cirilli, thank you so much for joining us. >> you, too. back for our first buzz including what just might be the best way to start your day.
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all right, everybody. it's that time for "first buzz." we have richard lui and bill karins with me today. and tomorrow's a big day, richard. >> yeah. so it's women's history month, right? we know that. that's march. but tomorrow is international women's day. it's been going to for 106 years. we celebrate women as well as look at the opportunities -- >> i've been celebrating women for a lot longer than that. sfwoo well said, my friend. >> domestic violence, one of the things they look at. like one in four women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. there's also the number of girls, teenage girls, that are high school age that do not have access to school. almost 100 million. so there's some opportunities, too. >> to educate on that day. >> right. as we look at international women's day. and men can be involved in this, too. they need to speak out. >> celebrate and cherish the women out there. not just tomorrow but every day. i've got a little bit of a positive story because we're so sick of this cold weather. bill, i'm not going to blame you this time.
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but there are some up sides to the cold. one, consumer prices could drop because the ice in the great lakes could melt. that will have higher water levels meaning ships can make fewer ships carrying more cargo. fish have a better survival rate. fewer tree-killing insects and fruit tastes better because it increases the sugar, makes for sweeter fruit. >> longer ski season. >> stinkbug has been a big problem. >> it may get rid of that. >> a lot of them are not going to survive. >> speaking of smells, this is a good smell. >> some of the greatest minds we have all came together with oscar mayer. they all work at something called the oscar mayer institute for the advancement of bacon. and they have come up with an app. >> yes. >> this is an app that you use as your alarm clock. >> i like it. >> you plug it into your phone. your alarm goes off. you hear the sizzling bacon, and it puffs a little odor, a little fragrance of bacon. and you will wake up to the smell of bacon. >> i love this thing. >> you can go and download the
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app. the actual part you plug in with the scent, you can't buy it, but they are going to give it away to a certain number of people. >> really? sign me up. i love that. >> electronic bacon bowl right there. >> thanks for watching, everybody. "way too early with thomas roberts" starts right now. this is what i'd like to suggest. let's have a conversation rather than an interview. i would ask you to begin by stating all your questions. i will jot them down and try to answer them. fine. put us up here for now. i will begin. don't interrupt me. >> i forgot, it was an interesting fact. in russia, the word for conversation is the same word as the word for shut the [ bleep ] up. >> putin's one-way highway into taking over the crimea region remains on course, blatantly ignoring all american warnings. if the dip solecy option is
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spent, what's next for ukraine? chris christie finally gets his cpac invite. and miley unleashes her sharp tongue on katy perry in 140 characters or less. did miley hit below the belt for the kiss diss seen around the world? this is "way too early." i don't know what that was. this is "way too early." anyway, jen is back today. can we get applause for jen who is back from sochi? it is such a good friday. hi, everybody, i'm thomas roberts. happy friday. jen is back. payday friday, nonetheless. and this is "way too early," the show that loves a good twitter war but prefers snapchat any day. don't we, for snapchat? wah, wah. we begin in ukraine where a vote behind closed door is only making the divisions
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